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More than 200 attorneys and judges from around the state joined the Maryland Legal Service Corporation (MLSC) in honoring the recipients of its 2018 Annual Awards with a special reception held December 3 at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in downtown Baltimore.

“I am absolutely delighted to see how many of you came out tonight to help us congratulate our wonderful award-winners,” said MLSC Executive Director Susan M. Erlichman (above). This year’s recipients included:

  • Andrew Jay Graham, Principal and Co-Founder of Kramon & Graham, PA, Arthur W. Machen, Jr. Award
  • Bonnie Sullivan, Executive Director of Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award
  • Mallory Finn, staff attorney with Project HEAL at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and Matthew Stubenberg, Assistant Director of Legal Technology at the Harvard Law School Access to Justice Lab, Rising Star Awards
  • Tacha Marshall, paralegal/advocacy specialist with Disability Rights Maryland, William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award
  • Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging, Herbert S. Garten Public Citizen Award
  • Harriet Robinson, recently retired MLSC Deputy Director, Special Recognition Award
  • Glenn Ivey, former MLSC Board Chair, Award for Outstanding Board Service

Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera (above) of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, who emceed the awards presentation, thanked not only the evening’s honorees but all those who provide civil legal services to low-income Marylanders for “the essential work you do on behalf of the people of Maryland.”

Established in 1982, MLSC raises funds and makes grants to nonprofit organizations for the provision of civil legal assistance to low-income Marylanders. Board Chair M. Natalie McSherry said that MLSC’s 35 grantees closed more than 202,000 cases in the past year, benefiting nearly 340,000 people.

“Those cases are really life-changing for our clients – clients who, often, have never before had an advocate,” continued McSherry ((above, at left, with Chief Judge Barbera). “With legal services attorneys and other supporters by their side, these clients won protection from domestic violence, saved their homes, stopped fraudulent practices, and much more.”

McSherry also recognized Erlichman, who this year marked 30 years of service to MLSC.

MLSC is principally funded by Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) and surcharges on court filing fees. Title 19, Chapter 400, Rule 19-411 of the Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct ensures that financial institutions that participate in the IOLTA program pay interest rates on IOLTA deposits that are comparable to other similarly situated accounts.

In 2002, MLSC and the Maryland State Bar Association partnered to create the IOLTA Honor Roll, which encourages financial institutions to pay favorable interest rates to foster the IOLTA program in its mission to ensure that low-income Marylanders have access to critically needed legal aid. Click here for more information on the Honor Roll and its member institutions.

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